The Outside Blog

Skiing and Snowboarding : Travel

The Polar Bear Capital of the World

Covert-cases_fe

One of the ironies of Churchill is that its residents, who have so much to lose from climate change, often have to drive for their own safety. Signs emblazoned with the silhouette of a polar bear warn pedestrians not to walk in certain areas around town and on the banks of the Churchill River. People leave their cars, and sometimes their houses, unlocked, in case they or a passerby need to make a quick escape from a hungry animal.

Like Juneau, Alaska, there’s no way to get to Churchill by car—Highway 6 ends in Thompson, several hours south. Visitors either fly or take a two-day train ride from Winnipeg. Food comes in by rail or through the port, a concrete hulk on a nearby inlet that freezes solid in the winter.

Read More

Paragliding Over Socotra

On Socotra, an island 250 miles off the coast of Yemen, the roads are so bad that 90 minutes of tailbone-bruising driving equates to five miles of travel. The roads would be one reason to paraglide over the island. Another reason would be the scenery. Sugar-white sand dunes spill into turquoise surf. Pink cliffs rise abruptly from the beach. Dragon's blood trees, plants that look like giant umbrellas and can live for more than 300 years, pop up suddenly from rocky scrub.

Read More

Girl Who Fought for Education Shot by Taliban

On Tuesday, masked Taliban gunmen boarded a bus filled with schoolchildren in Pakistan and shot a 14-year-old girl in the head. Her name is Malala Yousafzai, and she is now in critical condition in a Peshawar hospital. She openly voiced her belief that girls in Pakistan should be able to get an education. For that reason, men covered their faces and hunted her down. The details of her attack come from an article in The New York Times, which featured the following statement from the Taliban:

A Taliban spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, confirmed by phone Tuesday that Ms. Yousafzai had been the target, calling her crusade for education rights an "obscenity."

"She has become a symbol of Western culture in the area; she was openly propagating it," Mr. Ehsan said, adding that if she survived, the militants would certainly try to kill her again. "Let this be a lesson."

Read More

Cross-Country Tested: MSR Nook Tent

Ok

Gear Tester Andrew Forsthoefel has just finished his cross-country walk. It took him nearly a year. At approximately 2,000 steps per mile—he’s had plenty of chances to count—Andrew has taken more than six million steps on his way from Pennsylvania to the Pacific.

Forsthoelfel sent us notes on his shelter from the high desert of Arizona. "The Navajo reservation land is beautiful, it’s harsh, and it’s all dust, sand, and rock," he shared. "I like it, even if there aren’t any trees for shade and even though the towns are few and far between. Because of the distance between water-refueling spots, I’m normally walking 20-plus miles each day, sometimes 30-plus. These long hours are putting my body through the ringer: dry cracked feet, burnt brown skin, aching legs."

Before Forsthoefel left, we set him up with an MSR Nook Tent, specifically designed to fit in small and/or awkward spaces. Here's Forsthoefel's report on his home away from home:

Read More

Expedition Watch: A Two-Horse Journey From Canada to Brazil

On July 8, 25-year-old journalist Filipe Leite straddled one of his two horses and rode out of the Calgary Stampede under the escort of the Royal Mounted Police to start a 10,000-mile, two-year-long, 12-country journey that he hopes will end on his family’s ranch in Brazil. To understand the motivations for the cowboy's quest, it helps to start with his birth. His father, a cowboy, named him Filipe because it means friend of horses in Portuguese. He rode a horse before he could walk. As a little boy, his father told him the story of Aime Tschiffely, a Swiss schoolteacher who decided to ride from Argentina to New York City in 1925 on a pair of horses. Tschiffely rode over 16,000-foot mountain ranges, down into humid tropical jungles, and slept in Indian villages on his way through Central America. He didn't make it to New York City, but landed in Washington, D.C., where he was greeted at the White House by President Calvin Coolidge in 1928. “Of high adventures, hairbreath escapes, and deeds of daring, there were few; yet in all the annals of exploration I doubt if any traveler, not excepting Marco Polo himself, had more leisure than I to see and understand the people, the animals, and plant life of the countries traversed,” said Tschiffely in an article about the expedition.

Leite said Tschiffely's journey inspired him. The Brazilian hopes to chronicle his expedition in a documentary. For now, he is resting in Delta, Colorado, roughly 1,000 miles from his start in Canada. He estimates it will take him another a year and nine months of riding before he arrives home at his family’s ranch in the small town of Espirito Santo do Pinhal, Brazil. “My horses will be retired there where they will enjoy fresh water and green grass for the rest of their days,” says Leite. “I'm giving them to my little sister. She's six years old now and will spoil them to death.”

We caught up with the cowboy by email to find out a bit more about his journey.

Read More

Free Newsletters

Dispatch This week's featured articles, reviews, and videos. Sent twice weekly.
News From the Field The most important breaking news from around the Web. Sent daily.
Outside GOOur hottest adventure-travel tips and trips. Sent occasionally.
Outside Partners Outside-approved deals and special offers from select partners. Sent occasionally.

Subscribe
to Outside
Save Over
70%

Magazine Cover

iPad Outside+ App Access Now Included!

Categories

Authors

News

Apr 23, 2014

Previous Posts

2014

2013

2012

Blog Roll

Recent Comments

  1. John Morris commented on

    The Top Five Tips on...

    Thank you very good and a healthy...

  2. CJ commented on

    The Top Five Tips on...

    This is great information, although I...

  3. Pedro commented on

    Hydrate or Cry: Make...

    Is this a 6% drink like Gatorade? How...

Current Issue Outside Magazine

Subscribe and get a great deal! Two free Buyer's Guides plus a free GoLite Sport Bottle. Monthly delivery of Outside—your ultimate resource for today's active lifestyle. All that and big savings!

Free Newsletters

Dispatch This week's featured articles, reviews, and videos. Sent twice weekly.
News From the Field The most important breaking news from around the Web. Sent daily.
Gear of the Day The latest products, reviews, and editors' picks. Coming soon.
Outside Partners Outside-approved deals and special offers from select partners. Sent occasionally.

Ask a Question

Our gear experts await your outdoor-gear-related questions. Go ahead, ask them anything.

* We might edit your question for length or clarity. If it's not about gear, we'll just ignore it.